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Silverstone BSB: Sykes ‘not panicking yet’ despite difficult return

Back in the British Superbike Championship for the first time since 2008, the opening round of the 2022 season at Silverstone was something of a baptism of fire for Tom Sykes but the former World Superbike Champion remained upbeat at the conclusion of the weekend.

The MCE Ducati runner only picked up four points from the three races after finishing 12th in the season opener on Saturday with a crash in Sunday’s first race followed by 16th place in the second.

“The results certainly weren’t what we were expecting but it’s a unique circuit and in a lot of places the bike was working really well so I’m not panicking yet,” said the cheerful Huddersfield rider.


“It was good to get the first race out of the way on Saturday and get some points on the board but also frustrating not to be closer to the sharp end,” he admitted. “I made a good start and made some passes on the brakes with the bike turning really well but I was suffering when I opened the throttle as I didn’t have the traction I needed.”

Sykes was one of 12 riders to dip under the lap record in qualifying and with the exception of the aforementioned lack of traction, primarily in sector four, was more than happy with the way the Ducati Panigale was performing and also with how he was adapting to the V4R.

“Many aspects of the bike are in the ball park and it’s just that one area that held us back this weekend so there’s a bit of work to done in that respect. Overall though, I’ve got a good feeling with the bike.

“Obviously crashing out of Sunday’s first race early on was far from ideal and left me a bit battered but the team made a few changes for the final race which helped. We definitely found something with the bike so, all things considered, a top ten could have been possible so it’s something to take away and build on.

“We’re playing catch up but the Showdown format is something that’s new to me and could work in our favour so let’s see what Oulton Park has to offer. There’s a great team spirit amongst everyone so we’ll look to move forward there.”

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